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Active Fielding with a Dominate Pitcher

Mar 26, 2017
4
1
Fellow coaches I need some guidance.

We have an excellent pitcher that tends to dominate our games. The issue sometimes arises that when a ball is put into play our fielders are caught on their heels because they expect our pitcher to get the out.

How do you keep your fielders active and moving when pitchers are dominating games?
 
Jan 18, 2018
22
0
I do not mean to sound like a smart a$$, but I suggest you play better competition. It would benefit the good pitcher as well as the rest of the team.
 
Oct 11, 2010
7,474
38
Chicago, IL
If they are not already make sure they are moving before every pitch. Also make sure they are talking to each other and staying involved.
 
Sep 21, 2017
110
18
PA
Been there. A few years ago, our league was down and we had a pretty good one in the circle. Early on, we kicked a few balls around because we just weren't expecting them.

This is where mental toughness really comes into play...and I dont mean mental toughness as in "put them through hard situations and make them tough it out". I mean, talk about things like small focus. Having great focus for 4-5 seconds at a time. Think of our game, from pitch to out how long is the ball in play...lets say speaking in generalities 3 seconds. If our game lasts 90 minutes, then ball is actually in play for just a few minutes total. If you break it down like that, they may be able to keep good focus for small amounts of time. It's impossible for players to remain locked-in completely an entire game. But if they can lock-in for 3-4 seconds at a time, they can be ready for whatever happens. Talk about having a trigger for their focus. Something like as soon as the pitcher comes in contact with the rubber, boom - laser focus until the pitch is over. Relax for a few seconds, check out situations, talk to your pitcher, communicate the count, whatever...then as soon as she steps back on the rubber, it's time again.
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,160
83
Florida
If you break it down like that, they may be able to keep good focus for small amounts of time. It's impossible for players to remain locked-in completely an entire game. But if they can lock-in for 3-4 seconds at a time, they can be ready for whatever happens. Talk about having a trigger for their focus. Something like as soon as the pitcher comes in contact with the rubber, boom - laser focus until the pitch is over. Relax for a few seconds, check out situations, talk to your pitcher, communicate the count, whatever...then as soon as she steps back on the rubber, it's time again.
The most important thing described above is as a coach describing to the players what they should be doing... relaxing between pitchers, talking all the time, looking to see signs, watching the pitch, seeing the strike zone, understanding the count and what is going on, into fielding positioning during the pitch and then relax.. repeat. Give them things to pay attention to.

Most coaches just go "You need to focus more " or "pay attention" without actually giving them things to focus on or pay attention to. That will fix nothing.

It is easier with older girls and experienced players. I am not saying it doesn't still happen because it absolutely does but it happens less and less... In our case it is hard to get a word in as our infield wont ever shut up and our outfielders are pretty loud as well.
 
May 20, 2016
114
18
I've been in that boat. When coaching i have them take two steps forward and get their glove on the ground as soon as the pitcher starts her wind up. If nothing else it is an easy way to see who has their head in it and who doesn't.
 
Last edited:
May 6, 2015
798
28
I've been in that boat. When coaching i have them take two steps forward and get their glove on the ground as soon as the pitcher starts her wind up. If nothing else it is an easy way to see who has their head in it and who doesn't.
DDs 10u team all had to step together with the pitcher as she strode to the plate. made certain they paid attention, and too boot as beautiful site to see, 9 girls all in sync in the field.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,882
63
Dallas, Texas
Fellow coaches I need some guidance.

We have an excellent pitcher that tends to dominate our games. The issue sometimes arises that when a ball is put into play our fielders are caught on their heels because they expect our pitcher to get the out.

How do you keep your fielders active and moving when pitchers are dominating games?
This is the fundamental question of coaching softball/baseball.

It takes mental discipline to be ready for each pitch. I'm not sure there is a perfect answer.
 
Oct 3, 2011
2,815
0
Right Here For Now
While I agree with many, if not all of the posts here, I try and instill the 3 B's with all of my players. That said, I'm loathe to have my players actually moving in ANY direction before the ball is actually hit. This only leads to missed fielding attempts if they're moving in the wrong direction tion. For instance, moving forward on a hard hit groundball. Why? All they've done is create a much narrower lane of attack since they've now limited their range. I'd much rather them getting used to getting them up on the balls of their feet and their glove within a few inches of the ground in an athletic stance to get ready to move in any direction with a deeper range when the pitcher is in her pitching motion.. Just my .02.
 
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